Impact of toll-like receptor 4 variations on nasopharyngeal carcinoma risk and survival in tunisian population


Arij Ben Chaaben
Imen Ayadi
Hejer Abaza
Olfa Baroudi
Hayet Douik
Latifa Harzallah
Jihen Bouassida
Wahid Bouckouaci
Fethi Guemira
Amani Mankai
Maher Kharrat
Ryad Tamouza


Introduction: The Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), an important member of the host's innate immune response, is coded by a polymorphic gene. This polymorphism could be a predisposing factor for NasoPharyngeal Carcinoma (NPC).

Aim: To determine the association between TLR4 gene polymorphisms and the susceptibility to NPC in a cohort of Tunisian affected patients.

Methods: Genomic DNAs from 245 unrelated patients affected by undifferentiated carcinoma type (UCNT) and 264 unrelated healthy controls were genotyped for the five single nucleotides polymorphisms (SNPs) of TLR4 locus (4434 A>G (rs1927914),7263 G>C (rs10759932), 6134 A>G(rs4986790), 8851C>T (rs 4986791), 5272 T>C(rs11536889), +8469 T>C (rs11536891)) by Taqman® 5’-nuclease assay.

Results: Among all polymorphisms studied, only the rs4986790 G and rs4986791 T alleles were significantly more prevalent in patients’ group than controls (45% vs. 38%; p=0.03; pc=0.06) and increased the risk of the NPC (OR=1.3, 95% CI=1.01-1.69).  Also, we found that the frequency of the rs4986790 AA and rs4986791 TT genotypes was significantly higher in controls than in patients (25.7% vs 37%; p=0.006, pc=0.02) and conferred a protector factor in NPC (OR= 0.59, 95% CI= 0.39-0.87). Further, based on the Kaplan-Meier survival curve we observed also the positive effect ofrs1927914 AA genotype on a prognostic of NPC (p=0.006; pc=0.01).

Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that impaired production of TLR4 seems to be a risk factor of NPC development but functional studies are needed to confirm these findings. As to rs1927914 AA appears to be a good biomarker for better survival in a patient with NPC.


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma, TLR4, gene, polymorphism, risk



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